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FESTIVAL DIARY – July2 (article first published : 2003-07-3)

Usually seen at the National Arts Festival with long-time theatre partner Ellis Pearson, Bheki Mkhwane has produced an entertaining solo production for this festival titled Stickman. It’s the interesting story – told in Bheki’s inimitable and versatile fashion – of a young businessman who is trying to live in two worlds – one of modern comforts like DVD, DSTv, MNet, MTN (and other capital letters!) and the other which encompasses the traditional ways of his forefathers.

Our hero has a fancy car, a fat salary and all the perks but when we meet him, he is caught between a rock and a hard place. His wife is long overdue in delivering their child and he is pressurised by his grandmother who wants him to listen to the spirits of his ancestors and act according to their signs of guidance. On the other hand, his modern-day socialite wife is refusing to endure any pain of childbirth and threatens to drive herself to the hospital to have a Caesarian when the time comes.

Bheki plays numerous characters from the three main characters to a sangoma and a drunken lout of a farmer. Watch out for it when it comes to KZN.

Lisa Bobbert has come up with a range of characters in her new solo show Bobbert Uncut where she features well-known individuals out of the Bobbert/McIlroy stable – Chairmaine from Revenge of the Pink Panties (and most of the others) and Dr Daphne from Belly Laughs. New personalities are a pregnant schoolgirl in a tunic and blazer and the aggressive Chantal, a hard-talking and hard-hitting Tina Turner lookalike.

Interspersed with songs, these characters tell the story of Lisa Bobbert’s life either as friends, acquaintances or people who have been in her life at important times. Linking the scenes are hilarious extracts from Lisa’s show on East Coast Radio. Director Marion Loudon has eased Lisa through one of the most difficult periods of her life in being able to talk of the tragic loss of their baby girl some years back.

This production is bound to return to KZN some time in the future. You’ll enjoy its honesty and positive attitude.




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